Efficacy of yoga as adjunct therapy for treatment of anorexia nervosa in female adolescents
Burns, Emily J.
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Anorexia nervosa is a restrictive eating disorder in which the individual refuses to maintain a normal body weight and focuses on decreasing energy intake, commonly through food avoidance, and increasing energy expenditure, through excessive activity or exercise. The first medical report of AN dates back the seventeenth century; however, AN was not given considerable clinical attention until the twentieth century. The prevalence of AN continues to increase, most significantly among adolescent females. AN now exists as a medically recognized disorder, but no uniform method of treatment has been found to be successful. This paper will examine the efficacy of yoga as a component of therapy for treatment of anorexia nervosa in female adolescents. To do so, research articles, clinical studies, and literature on eating disorders--specifically anorexia nervosa--and yoga-including the philosophy and foundations of yoga in addition to the application of yoga practice- were reviewed and analyzed. The application of yoga as therapy for anorexia nervosa has been most widely studied in its effectiveness as a form of mindful-based therapy to treat psychological symptoms, specifically eating-disordered thoughts, of AN. Currently, the evidence of the application of yoga as therapy for AN reports successful results in treatment of the disorder. Future studies providing further evidence of physiological benefits of yoga in treating AN will help to gamer support from the members of the medical community who are directly involved in the treatment of AN patients. Further evidence of the success of the use of yoga in treatment of AN may lead to a widespread application of yoga as a component of therapy for AN and increased success of recovery from the disorder.
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